Friday, 26 August 2011

216: Review - Final Destination 5 (SPOILERS)

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

Final Destination 5 poster

Final Destination 5 (3D)
26th August 2011. Location: Cinema

...I'm not sure if this movie is aimed at me or not. I've always maintained that five films into a franchise, you aren't really pandering to newcomers. And yet, FD5 spends a lot of time hacking away at the 'why are they dying in that order?' angle which everyone in the cinema already knows the answer to. So on one hand, the makers of the film are making sure that no viewer is left behind, but on the other, the end-sequence is a huge nod to the first FD, and won't be properly appreciated by your average first-timer.

Me? I'm the best of both worlds. I watched the first FD back in 2000, enjoyed it very much, but never quite got round to watching the second, third or fourth installments. So with that in mind, any references to the films in the middle went right over my head, but it didn't seem to matter.

We kick off with a 3D title-sequence, quite nicely done with things flying in slo-mo at the camera. Then we're introduced to the main characters of the film who are, with one exception, all the kind of people you know you're going to enjoy watching die. I guess that's the point? To just leave one sympathetic character to generate a bit of tension while you chuckle at the others being flayed alive?

After that it's a very standard affair. Sam, our lead (and only likeable person), has a premonition on a bus crossing over a suspension bridge, which leads to him evacuating our core characters and saving their lives, only for the grim reaper to pick them off later, one-by-one in the order in which they died in his vision. It's also worth pointing out that Sam's premonition is not only shown to the audience, but is also five minutes long and gorgeously graphic in its portrayal of everyone's deaths. That way, you see, we get to watch everyone die twice, and in different ways! Some might groan at this, I rather liked it.

The setpieces play out, with various red-herrings in each, to keep the audience guessing as to the actual cause-of-death (for the most part, the ones you saw in the trailer were the bluffs), and teasing the audience in a way that hasn't been done since Hostel. Intermittently, 'the coroner' turns up to lay on a little exposition for Sam, who seems a bit too thick to work out what's going on. As usual, the coroner is only fucking Candyman. If that doesn't set alarm bells ringing, you probably deserve to die.

As I said above, it's nicely done (for what it is), but very standard, until the final segment... (highlight for serious spoilers)
Having survived the carnage of the previous 85 minutes and believing themselves safe, Sam and his girlfriend board a plane to travel to Paris, where Sam has been offered an apprenticeship as a chef. We see Sam look at his tickets, dated 2000, and a commotion starts at the front of the plane as several people leave before takeoff. The presence of late nineties' style flip-phones and absence of the internet suddenly makes sense to the audience.
It turns out that this plane is the one that explodes at the start of Final Destination, and Sam's adventure is about to be replayed by those that have just left. We get a more detailed (Sam's POV) version of the initial air disaster that started the whole franchise eleven years ago, the reaper claims his final two victims for this film, and the whole thing comes full circle.
Yes, I worked this out when they initially boarded the plane, but I was impressed by the whole sequence. It was a great nod to the original, and if this is the Final Final Destination, a nice way to end things.

After that, we get a montage of all the series' deaths, through parts one to four, with AC/DC's 'If You Want Blood (You Got It)' over the top. The whole ending is pretty much better than the rest of the film. But within its own back-yard, this is a winner.

Although I've only seen two of these, I reckon this is about as good as any of them (if you get my drift). If you liked the others (and the genre in general), you should emjoy it. If you're not into watching teenagers get sliced and diced, then you probably won't be viewing it anyway.


It's mostly a steady 4/7, but the ending notches it up to a 5.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organizations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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